For too many years, it has been suggested that older dogs should be given a low protein diet; however, it turns out that this information is incorrect. The research that was done and determined that senior dogs should be put on a low protein diet was actually done on rats, not dogs! Not very efficient, huh?
It turns out that low protein diets are actually not beneficial for senior pitbulls, and for all senior dogs. Recent research have proven that the protein levels in a dog’s diet have no effect on the development of diseases that are often associated with aging in dogs. Moreover, research has found that senior dogs who were given high protein diets actually saw an increase in their health! Go figure!
Low protein, high carbohydrate diets have been found to cause an increase risk of diabetes and urinary tract problems in older pitbulls, and in all dogs. These diets also diminish kidney and liver function, lower lean muscle mass and cause higher levels of body fat. Scientists have also found that senior dogs do not metabolize proteins as efficiently as younger dogs, which means that your senior pitbull actually needs more protein in his diet, and higher quality protein, too.
Foods to Feed a Senior Pitbull
There are several foods that you can feed your senior pitbull that will provide him with more and better protein. Some of the best senior pitbull dog food options to feed your aging family member include:
- Muscle meats
- Organ meats, like liver, kidney and heart
Foods to Avoid Giving Your Senior Pitbull
There are certain foods that you should avoid feeding your aging pitbull, as they can cause a host of health problems, including increased body fat and decreased heart and liver function. Foods that you should avoid giving your dog include:
- Meat meal
- Bone meal
- Food that contains by-products
Watch Fat and Calories Levels
As a dog ages, he becomes less active. This means that he needs less fat and calories to maintain his vital functions. Feeding your senior pitbull a diet that is high in fat and calories can lead to obesity, which presents a series of issues, such as decreased mobility, heart problems, decreased liver function, just to name a few.
Increase the Fiber
Like people, older dogs are often prone to constipation. You can help to ease this issue in your senior pitbull by increasing his fiber intake. However, while increasing fiber can be beneficial for easing constipation, it can also lead to weight loss. Many products contain too much fiber, which can make your dog feel full and prevent him from getting the nutrients he actually needs. This can cause weight loss and a number of other serious issues. Speak to your vet to find out the best way to add fiber to your senior pitbull’s diet.
Antioxidants and Nutraceuticals are Important, Too
Antioxidants, like omega-3 and omega-5 fatty acids can aid your aging pitbull in a number of ways. They can help to ward of disease, improve the function of vital organs and increase mobility. However, while antioxidants are important for a pitbull, dogs do not produce them on their own. For that reason, it is important that you provide your senior pitbull with a diet that contains antioxidants and nutraceuticals.
Again, talk to your vet to find out the best way to provide these elements for your dog.
A senior pitbull requires extra care to ensure a high quality of life, and his diet has a huge impact on his health and wellness.